Get curated editors’ picks, peeks behind the scenes, film recommendations and more.
While researching her doctoral thesis, Suzanne Simard, now a professor of forest ecology at the University of British Columbia, made an astounding discovery – trees in forests seem to possess complex information superhighways in their root systems that allow them to share information. Her 1995 doctoral thesis on the topic has been part of a revolution in how scientists view plants, leading many to suggest that they possess cognitive abilities, and even intelligence. This animation from TED-Ed details the symbiotic relationship – between tree roots and fungi called mycorrhizae – that serves as the foundation of these intricate intra-tree communication networks, allowing them to trade news on topics such as drought and insect attacks, and even detect if an incoming message has been sent by a close relative.
Earth science and climate
A biologist on the sorrows of documenting the Great Salt Lake’s collapse
Design and fashion
Household items are reborn in a ‘visual symphony of everyday objects’
As a pianist strikes a chord, visualisations of his notes appear in real time
Why aren’t our everyday lives as ‘spooky’ as the quantum world?
Burning ice, metal clouds, gemstone rain – tour the strangest known exoplanets
Logic and probability
Chew over the prisoner’s dilemma and see if you can find the rational path out
The idea that life on Earth originated elsewhere is not as far out as it seems
Flicker through the eclectic beauty and biological diversity of 2,400 leaves
Bertrand Russell wanted to kill off causation. Can contemporary philosophy rescue it?